The Renaissance Faire community is one where we make fantasy into reality and where we bring substance to illusion; where the only nobility of a knight is that found within their soul and a villain is likely to give you the shirt off his back if you are truly in need. We are a family, we watch over one another and care for one another. The Hall of Fame awards exist to honor and remember those who have made incredible and lasting contributions to the Renaissance Faire community.
Then, there are those moments that are truly transcendent; those times when a member of the community reminds us not only of their impact on the community but truly touches the world around them. It is fair to say that when the world honors someone as a hero…we can truly do no less.
Jeffery “Mayhem” Thompson was a well-known fixture at the Scarborough faire. He was a giant of a man with an even larger heart. Those who knew him loved him. Outside of the faire, Jeff was the head of security for the band Damageplan. On the night of December 8th, 2004, at a show in Columbus, OH, a gunman opened fire during the show, killing Damageplan member (and founding member of Pantera) “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott while he performed on stage. Thompson chased the gunman onto the stage and engaged him in hand to hand combat until he too was shot dead. Jeff died trying to save lives. He put his own body in the path of bullets to save those around him. It is a moment of heroism that we should all remember and that we would all hope would never have needed to be repeated.
In his memory, we name the award, the Jeffery Thompson Award of Heroism.
Larry Daniel Kaufman
This year, we are saddened to bestow this award on another member of our community. While we are gladdened for his courage and brightness of spirit, we are all diminished by his passing. Larry Daniel Kaufman was a member of the Guild of St. Cuthbert, well known and beloved in the California faire community; he had performed at Southern for sixteen years.
On December 2nd, 2015, terrorists opened fire on a holiday party in San Bernardino. When the attack began, Daniel began urging people to safety, pushing people out of harm’s way until he himself was silenced. His actions are a reminder to us all of the courage and nobility of spirit to which we all should aspire. He thought of others, and not of himself. He was – is – a hero.
Thus, with heavy hearts at the passing of one of our own, we bestow upon him the only measure we truly can: our respect and admiration. With that, Larry Daniel Kaufman is the first recipient of the Jeffery Thompson Award of Heroism. We may only hope that our world may someday find the peace it needs so that we may retire this award that so pains us to give.